A move by El Paso, Texas city officials to change collection agencies pursuing the city’s unpaid traffic tickets has reportedly resulted in several thousand additional mailing contacts - and, as a result, a large number of irate consumers.
The city is attempting to collect more than $50 million in unpaid fines and fees dating back as far as the 1990s. Some people are raising questions about the validity of their debts Carmen Perez, managing partner at Delgado, Acosta, Spencer, Linebarger & Perez, the collection law firm hired by the city, said the firm stands by its information as accurate. The managing partner of the law firm acting as the collection agency stands by its information as accurate. Perez said the firm has received hundreds of calls since the notices began going out in February. "We take those calls, we do an inquiry and check those accounts," she said. “[The city] requested for us to mail on every outstanding fine or citation that was out there and that's what we did." City of El Paso Chief Financial Officer Dr. Mark Sutter said the previous firm handling the city’s delinquent traffic fines possibly had given up on trying to collect some of the older accounts. This could be what’s leading some consumers to complain that they no longer owe the city money. “The new firm is coming in and saying they have a whole inventory of unpaid citations and tickets and that's what they are now mailing out notices about,” Sutter said.